Did you know that there are different types of asthma? Asthma can be triggered by numerous things. Even the different types range from mild to severe. If you or your child suffer from exercise-induced asthma, it is important that you understand how to combat and maintain it.
Defining Exercise-Induced Asthma
Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) is exactly what it sounds like. Strenuous physical activity causes lung tightening and labored breathing. For many asthmatics, over-exerting themselves leads to mildly constricted airways. For those who suffer from exercise-induced asthma, even a little exercise holds the potential to send them to the hospital.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, up to 90% of asthmatics experience exercise-related asthma flare-ups. Even if your child’s primary triggers are allergens or stress, guard against too much physical activity.
How to Avoid Exercise-Induced Asthma Triggers
The first step toward controlling your child’s asthma is to avoid the primary trigger: physical demands. Apply these three principles when deciding “how far to go.”
1. Take it slow.
Especially for children, it can be tempting to overdo it right off the bat. At school, recess and PE are especially difficult times to reign in excess energy and a competitive spirit. Remind your child to take plenty of breaks and take any physical activity slowly.
2. Don’t be afraid to say “no.”
Teach your child to know their limits and sit things out if necessary. Children often possess a sense of pride and don’t like to back down from a challenge. Let them know it’s okay to be upfront with their peers about their limits.
Along the same line, raising asthma awareness helps other children know how to interact with asthmatics.
3. Stop before you have to.
Quit while you’re ahead. In other words, make sure your child knows to quit a physical activity before symptoms begin and not after.
Other Types of Asthma
Exercise-induced asthma is not the only type, and many asthma sufferers fight multiple triggers. Other asthma types include the following.
1. Allergic Asthma
2. Nonallergic Asthma
Some asthma is not caused by allergens or exercise, but by recurring respiratory infections. These infections make it consistently difficult to breathe. Nonallergic asthma is most common in adults over middle age.
3. Adult-Onset Asthma
While adult-onset asthma can be triggered by anything, it occurs in adults who have never before had an issue with asthma.
4. Occupational Asthma
Factors such as stress and anxiety often trigger asthma not caused by allergens. These triggers often occur in workplace environments, resulting in workplace asthma. Workplace asthma also stems from poor indoor air quality.
How Can You Control Your Exercise-Induced Asthma?
Whether your child suffers from allergic, nonallergic, or exercise-induced asthma, take preventative measures seriously. A preventative approach to asthma triggers helps your child avoid scary situations.
- Communicate with your doctor often.
- Develop an asthma attack action plan.
- Take lung tests regularly.
- Listen to your body.
Asthma doesn’t take time off, so stay alert and prepared. Your child’s health and safety are worth the time and effort.
Common Questions About Exercise & Asthma
1. Is it OK to exercise with asthma?
If an asthmatic learns how to manage their asthma, exercise can actually be beneficial to their overall health.
2. What exercise is good for asthmatics?
Asthmatics who regularly exercise can boost their health. Good exercise can improve lung capacity and strengthen muscles and the cardiovascular system which can help to minimize asthma symptoms. Some of the best exercise for asthmatics is swimming, walking, and biking. Asthmatics who know their bodies can participate in almost any sport.
3. Why does exercise make asthma worse?
Exercise requires that your body take in more oxygen. Because of the increased demand for oxygen, people with asthma may find their symptoms are worsened when they exercise.
4. Does cardio help asthma?
Cardio can be a challenging exercise for anyone, but especially those who struggle with asthma. However, there has been research data published by the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care that shows that asthma symptoms stabilization and breathing control may be achieved through cardio.
5. Should I run with asthma?
If your asthma is under control, running can actually be good for your body. If, however, your asthma is not under control, it is best to avoid running and take steps toward stabilizing your asthma symptoms before running.